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On Sunday 10th February, we visited the Natural History Museum, located in London for the Dawnosaurs event. Dawnosaurs is a free event for parent/carers and autistic children aged 5-15. Due to high demand, I applied online to reserve a place. In addition, The Dawnosaurs event is supported by The Lord Leonard and Lady Estelle Wolfson Foundation.
I received an e-mail confirmation prior to our visit, which informed me that I was successful in booking our spaces for the event. The e-mail also provided me with a link to an online questionnaire, asking about special facility requirements, likes and dislikes and information to ensure that my son’s needs will be met for the event.
In the lead up to the event, I received an e-mail that included pre-visit information. Furthermore, the attachment guide enclosed details for parents of how to get to the museum, where the nearest train station is, a link to check for train status updates and the opening times of the museum. It also recommended using the side entrance of the museum to enter this event.
A sensory room would be available on the day in the lower ground floor and a Mobiloo in the rear car park. Secondly, the visit information also highlighted that the hand dryers would be switched off until 9:30am. Moreover, I was emailed a visual guide, showing the areas around the museum.
The information informed us that we would be able to meet Ranger Stu in the Flett Theatre to see some of the animals and that there would also be an activity area in the Hintze Hall.
The Natural History Museum emailed me sound clips alongside the visual guide. Likewise, they included the sound of a T Rex, two evacuation sounds, and a hand dryer sound clip. Little details like this really do make a big difference when planning a day out, as it makes the day more predictable.
Travelling to London.
A week before the event, I went back and forth in my mind of whether to drive to London or to use the train. In the end, my partner, my son, and I used the train. As long as he knew how many stops there were until we reached our destination, he was good with this plan. In addition, I had incorporated a countdown for him.
Welcome to Dawnosaurs.
The doors at the Natural History Museum in London opened at 8 for this event. Firstly, on arrival, I noticed that the Natural History Museum had a short queue, where several staff members were available to checked us in. They had a list of names, but I printed off the e-mail confirmation just in case. Secondly, the staff handed us an A3 programme, which had a map on the back. The map highlighted that the Red, Blue, and Green zones were opened for the Dawnosaurs event. Lastly, a staff member handed us a blue badge, which helped them identify that we were part of the Dawnosaurs event.
Life in the Dark Exhibition.
The blue badge allowed us free entry to the Life in the Dark exhibition. Although, looking at the visual guide, it pre-warned us that the exhibition would contain flashing light and flickering shadows. My son was aware of this and wanted to still enter the exhibition. He thoroughly enjoyed seeing the nocturnal animals.
Dinosaur Hall and Whale Hall.
We had a look around the Dinosaur Hall and the Whale Hall in the Blue Zone. Most importantly, my son wanted to find out what is the biggest Whale. In addition, he had the confidence to ask one of the helpers. So, the answer is the Blue Whale.
At 9:30 we headed over to the Flett Theatre to meet Ranger Stu. My son preferred to look at the animals from afar rather than up close and personal. He was able to see a giant snail and an armadillo.
Volcanoes and Earthquakes.
We all enjoyed going up the earth escalator. My son loved looking at the protective suit that a volcanologist has to wear and studying the layers of the earth. He really appreciates learning in this way as he soaks up a lot of information.
The Natural History Museum in London has plenty of visual and interactive displays, including the earthquake simulator which we stood on.
General Opening Time.
At 10am, the museum opened its doors to the general public. The museum was remarkably busy. As more people entered the museum, we decided to head back home. Overall, it was a fun and relaxed family day out.
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Disclaimer: The blog is based on personal experience and shared for information purposes. I received no payment or any other commission for this post.